R U following your closest three thousand photographer friends?
Ever wonder why some people get all the views? All the hits? All the comments?
It doesn’t happen by accident. Some attention is deserved. For others, it was earned by hard work deserved or not.
Becoming well known in the online photo community usually means spending more time promoting yourself than taking photos. For some it is done with an eye towards promoting a business and for others it has more to do with ego than anything.
Let me use the photo sharing website 500px as an example. There is a rating system how it works I am not sure but it is almost like a contest to see if you can get to the top of the first page. I think it has to do with how many views, likes and favorites you get on your photo. Obviously the more eyes that fall on your image the higher the probability that you will get a fave or a like.
It is easy to get more eyes by getting followers. This practice has been going on for many years. It is the rule of reciprocation. If someone follows you, you follow them. If someone likes your photo, you like one of theirs. It’s that simple.
This is where the hard work comes in and it has nothing to do with your photography. You have to do through your “friends” list and I use the term very loosely and fave or like their photos on a constant basis. Continually doing so will net you thousands of “friends”. That sounds not only like too much work but there are better ways to spend my time I figure, like trimming my toenails. 🙂
I have very few “friends” on both of the photo sharing websites that I am on. That isn’t because there aren’t many interesting photographers on there it is because there are few that I want to follow. It is confusing to log onto your home page and find SIX HUNDRED new images posted by your friends since the last time you were online. Now imagine if you have something like two or three thousand friends and that is NOT an exaggeration. How on God’s green earth can one possibly keep tabs on your closest three thousand friends photos?
It is hard work to go through all of your friends and comment on their photos telling them how great they are even when they’re not and that is the really sad thing most photographs that I see on 500px and Flickr are not good at all. Surprised? I’m not. We all have different opinions on what makes a great photo and we are all right.
Now let me play amateur psychologist for a moment, my mother always told me how special I was. Anything and everything that I did received praise and encouragement. When I took pictures for a living and my photo credit was omitted it was never a big deal yet for some fellow photogs that I worked with it was a huge injustice. Huh? As long as my name was on my pay cheque I was happy. Over the years my photos have probably been seen by millions of people here in western Canada. Was it important to them that they were taken by “Dan Jurak”? No.
Thank you mother wherever your loving soul may be for showing me all the attention when I was growing up that I don’t need to seek it from others. You see, I think that I know if something that I have taken is good or not. A general manager of our local NHL team here famously said about a goalie last year, “If you have to ask the question, you already know the answer.” That’s what I know to be true. If you have to ask…
Anyway, my toenails are getting a bit long. Gotta go.
ps. About the photo above. Taken a couple of days ago in color. I saw the unusual shape of the cloud over the slope on the snowy field where there was an intersection of interesting lines. That immediately caught my eye and from there it was a matter of experimenting in Photoshop to get something almost abstract that was pleasing to the eye. It’s just that simple.